Radio Disney might be in its final days, but some hits never die. There are more than a few Disney Channel star songs that will outlast even some of the most mainstream pop songs of the 2000s and ’10s, and it’s all because of their catchy choruses and unforgettable ties to pop culture history. Gen Z loved them, millennials loved them, and everyone’s parents loved them, too. So the next time you’re about to feel guilty pressing "play" on your Disney Channel nostalgia playlist, don’t.
If Aly & AJ could re-up their classic hit "Potential Breakup Song" into an explicit pop-rock anthem, any number of Disney Channel stars’ tracks can find their way back into the mainstream. The stars of yesteryear had their fingers on the pulse of musical greatness, and their best hits have similarities to today’s Top 40 hits. Take Miley Cyrus’ "7 Things" for example: She was already exhibiting her love for rock & roll all the way back in 2008, over a decade before the release of Plastic Hearts. That’s pop culture history right there.
Not every bop played during Suite Life re-run commercials holds up in the present day, but there’s too many that do to ignore just how good the music was back in the day. Whether or not the tracks were engineered for a teen audience is beside the point. Some songs stay with you forever, and if you were to play a Jonas Brothers track at the club, you know people would dance along. Read the full list below, and if you haven’t already, add all of them to your Spotify for good measure.
1. "Potential Breakup Song" – Aly & AJ
Aly and AJ Michalka are practically Disney Channel royalty. The sisters starred in several shows and Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs), including the beloved 2006 dairy farm buddy comedy, Cow Belles. Their lasting impact on millennial teens’ lives, however, happens to hinge on their musical endeavors. The duo created one of the most recognizable pop-rock songs of the 2000s, "Potential Breakup Song," and the recent TikTok-induced revival of the hit truly had everyone in their nostalgia feels.
2. "7 Things" – Miley Cyrus
The 2008 release of Miley Cyrus’ "7 Things" marked one of the first times fans of the Hannah Montana actress got to see her perform as herself, sans blonde wig and sparkly costume. While Cyrus would go on to create a name for herself outside of the Disney Channel pop canon, she really outdid herself with "7 Things." It was the turning point in her career and a sign of all her solo hits to come: "Party in the USA," "Can’t Be Tamed," and "We Can’t Stop" all depended on the blueprint set out by the breakup jam.
3. "So Yesterday" – Hillary Duff
Hillary Duff left behind her Lizzie McGuire persona with "So Yesterday," along with all of her exes and their bullsh*t. The 2009 track is everything one could ask for from a former Disney Channel star trying to make a name for themselves in mainstream pop: a rockstar attitude, blaring guitar riffs, and a chorus that’s still catchy over a decade later. At least we have Duff’s songs to cry to while we mourn the loss of the remake of her classic TV show.
4. "Push It To The Limit" – Corbin Bleu
Corbin Bleu got his start in High School Musical, but the dancing and singing powerhouse made sure you’d never forget him when he embarked on his solo music career. "Push It To The Limit" was made for his DCOM with Keke Palmer, Jump In, but it earned critical success, too; it climbed to No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. The 2007 track had a booming dance breakdown and a beat that made you want to join a jump-rope squad, so don’t worry if you start dancing when you hit play. It’s the only right thing to do.
5. "Who Says" – Selena Gomez & The Scene
Before Selena Gomez was Selena Gomez, she was Selena Gomez & The Scene. The Wizards of Waverly Place star had an entire roster of hits throughout the 2010s, but "Who Says" encapsulated the most wholesome aspects of pop music at the time. The self-love anthem is still worth playing today, even if it’s just to make yourself smile and feel good. Now, whatever happened to The Scene?
6. "La La Land" – Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato’s foray into pop-punk was impressive, especially considering she was still working on shows like Sonny With A Chance when she first started out. She was bold and fiery from the start, and ready to tell the truth about the industry in her 2008 song, "La La Land." Turn the speakers up all the way and head-bang along to the thrashing guitar riffs, because this is Lovato at her best.
7. "Dynamite" – China Anne McClain
Taio Cruz might have lit up the charts with "Dynamite," but A.N.T. Farm‘s China Anne McClain reignited the spark. Her cover of the hit song was a standout moment from the Disney Channel series. The bubblegum-pop remake of the already catchy track had all the hallmarks of a classic Radio Disney hit, but for the new age of Gen Z-listeners.
8. "Burnin’ Up" – Jonas Brothers
I mean, who doesn’t love a Jo-Bro-throwback? "Burnin’ Up" is arguably still the Jonas Brothers’ most recognizable track, and for good reason too. Nick’s solo is the stuff of stans’ dreams, and the chorus birthed a new genre of stadium-ready pop songs for teens to sing along to at birthday parties and sleepovers. 2008 was truly a great year for Disney Channel pop stars.
9. "Some Call It Magic" – Raven Symone´
That’s So Raven was one of the first Disney Channel shows to truly make a lasting impact on Gen Z audiences. It ran for four seasons and clocked 100 episodes, along with a spinoff soon after (Cory in the House is still so good). The show’s star, Raven Symone, weaved her track "Some Call It Magic" into the fabric of the show’s plot, and thank goodness she did. Watching the music video is like taking a psychic trip back to the days of watching syndicated episodes of the show, laughing along to every punchline and vision.
10. "He Said She Said" – Ashley Tisdale
Ashley Tisdale wasn’t the only High School Musical star to have a breakout pop solo career, but she had one of the most memorable for sure. Her tracks were uncharacteristically scandalous, and "He Said She Said" broke the family-friendly norms of the Disney Channel’s otherwise G-rated roster of content. The music video is a trip back to the clubbing days of yesteryear, when Nelly Furtado’s "Promiscuous" owned the dancefloor and you just wanted to get your freak on with a guy wearing a fedora. Not to mention, it’s an earworm: "Baby, I can see us movin’ like that (like that)/ Baby, I can see us touchin’ like that (like that)."
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